Monday, January 7, 2013

Cheese Stars

                I hated baking when I was younger because I always seemed to get flour everywhere.  Watching me try to bake up something was like probably watching a bad comedy show.  I pretty much stuck to those boxes of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker when I felt the necessity to bake up some brownies.  One bowl to clean up and baked goods in 20 minutes.  What could be better?  Well, maybe for starters how about no bleached flour, or artificial flavors, or soybean oil?

                I received a Kitchen Aid stand mixer as a bridal shower gift and actually until last year, being that we are now in 2013, had only started taking advantage of it.  My excuse for not using it was that it was so heavy to move around.  I don't like things on counters, so therefore when I needed to use a mixer I would take out a light hand mixer instead of lugging out what seemed to be a 30 pound mixer.  Of course it doesn't weigh 30 pounds.  Since I started on my quest to feed my family better, I learned that I cannot live without it.  I gladly take out my red mixer from it's spot in a cabinet whenever the call to bake comes.  I realize now that with the right equipment, baking is not a messy chore, but an enjoyable activity.

              With that being said, here is an easy recipe for cheese stars.  It is kind of like a cheese pastry in the shape of a star.  It is something similar to cheese straws, but in a star shape.  They are great on there own, or dipped in a dip.

  1. 1 stick of butter (1/2 a cup), cut up in pieces
  2. 2 1/2 Cups of cheddar cheese
  3. 1 Cup parmesan cheese
  4. 5 Tbl half and half
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1 Cup of flour
This makes about 124 stars.

First combine the butter and cheese.  It will glob up on the mixing blade, so you will need to pop it off.

In another bowl, whisk together the salt and flour.  Then add that mixture to the cheese/butter mixture.  Add the half and half until you get a nice smooth dough.  It should not be dry. 

Remove the dough and divide it in thirds so it is easy to work with.  Roll each third out to about 1/8 an inch thick.  Then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake them in a preheated 350F oven for about 12- 15 minutes.  They should puff up.  They are done when the bottoms have started to brown and the tops should look golden.
This is easy to make and the kids love cutting out the shapes as well as eating them.


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